There's been lots of talk about Mr. Powell asking Ms. Early to bow out of the Assembly race. I'm sure it happens more than we ever know. We're missing the larger picture. It's not that the good ol' boy network is flexing it's muscles. The problem is the good ol' boy network hasn't delivered. They haven't lifted a finger to make housing affordable while young people and families struggle to find a place to live. They are negligently behind in providing infrastructure for the city. Juneau is so far behind in laying water and sewer lines we need $90 million just to catch up. How many decades has it taken for any progress on the north Douglas crossing? It's the No. 1 transportation safety priority in town. How much has the city put into that project?
Are we going to get a runway extension or a safety zone for the aircraft? Even when they've found a project to get behind they half-step it so much the voters have to rebel three times before a new school gets built. Our Capitol building is falling apart, along with a few schools. The drainage system in many parts of the valley is inadequate.
Small businesses struggle to keep up with taxes while the city buys products and services outside that are readily available in Juneau and negotiates to bring in more big box stores to put the little guys out of business. The city actually had to recently explain why its citizens should subsidize city endeavors in direct competition with local businesses. Did you realize your tax dollars go to a rock quarry that sells rock to private companies for private jobs cheaper than the small businesses in town can provide it? The city is trying to explain how young entrepreneurs were able to sell lots at Lena Point after developing a subdivision in about a 10th the time it took the city. You still can't buy the city lots, so that ratio is going to get much worse.
I wouldn't mind the Wheeler-Powell-Doll network controlling the party and molding it for elections as long as they had rolled up their sleeves and taken care of things. It's time for the good ol' boys to ride off into the sunset. I want an Assembly that listens to us regular folks and tackles Juneau's challenges. I'm voting for Summers.
Shawn C. Paul
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